Crowded Ky. Republican governor primary gets even larger

Crowded Ky. Republican governor primary gets even larger
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:14 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A crowded Republican field for the May primary is now even more packed after Somerset Mayor Alan Keck announced he would run, Monday.

It’s a full house vying for the governor’s mansion in Frankfort, now that a dozen candidates are looking to face Governor Andy Beshear in next year’s gubernatorial race.

“We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to candidates for the republican primary to be governor,” said Sean Southard of the Republican Party of Kentucky. “Not really since 1979 have you seen so many candidates running for governor, and that’s when the Democratic party was at its strength.”

The Republican Party of Kentucky does not endorse candidates in the primary. Right now, their focus is on the general election next November.

“We know that Governor Beshear is going to have a big war chest,” Southard said. “We need to make sure that at the end of the primary, especially one that has this many people in it, that we are well prepared to take him on and support whoever the nominee is.”

The crowded field includes names like former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, State Auditor Mike Harmon and State Representative Savannah Maddox.

The Kentucky Democratic Party weighed in on Alan Keck’s announcement saying in part, “The mayor is now the 12th candidate in what is shaping up to be a crowded, expensive and nasty race to the extreme fringe of the GOP. Next year, Kentuckians will have a clear choice between one of the most popular governors in the country and whoever emerges from the crowded, brutal Republican primary.”

The Republican Party is touting growth and support leading to next year’s election, citing the party’s supermajority in the Kentucky House and Senate.

“We think that having this number of candidates is actually a sign of a healthy party,” Southard said. “We look forward to supporting whoever the nominee is.”